Writers' Ink at Caledon Public Library

As I Haven’t Sold Any Books How Can I Say I’m a Writer?

“I can see how my friends farther back on the publishing trajectory may not feel like ‘real’ writers, how finishing a piece and publishing a piece and getting an agent and getting a book deal are all badges that say I did it or I am it and each of those things punches our ticket, validation. How claiming the title (of writer) before the accomplishments can feel like misrepresentation.”

“Sure, you may not be a published writer. You may not be a full-time writer. You may be an early-career writer. But you know what? Published writers don’t get everything they write published. People who make a living writing almost always teach or edit or freelance on the side.”

Agatha Christie

“You are what you present yourself as. You have a right to define yourself, and project that definition to others. Every time you say what you want to be is what you are, you help move yourself ahead and you let others help you move ahead. Like dressing for the job you want to be hired for.”

“Imagine you’re chatting with, say,….the guy who owns your local indie bookstore. When they ask if you’re a writer, and you say, ‘Oh, no, not yet,’ the conversation ends there. But when you say (modestly), ‘I’m early-career, but I’m working on a memoir about my time in the military’, or ‘I’m excited about sending around my new travel essay series’, that opens a door for them to help you. They might say, ‘Oh, nice’ and smile blankly, yes. But they might respond with, ‘I’d love to see a few pages when you’re done,’ or ‘Make sure you query so-and-so, I hear they’re looking for that,’ or ‘Do you know about our reading series for local authors?’ All of those responses create dialogue. They help you bond with the larger community. They make connections.”

From ‘Give Yourself Permission by Allison Williams, Social Media Editor at BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog

About Alton Chapter

The Alton Chapter of Writers' Ink meets the 1st Wednesday of the month from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Alton Branch.

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This entry was posted on November 26, 2014 by in Writing Advice and tagged , , , , , .

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